Friday, May 29, 2009

Strength Training..not just for the Off-Season

Like many cyclists/triathletes I LOVE the outdoors. If the weather is nice...I'm outside riding my bike. That is why in the Spring, Summer and Fall months you won't find me in a gym weight/strength training. Besides, with my outdoor training and racing schedule...I don't have any time for no stinkin' gym workouts. BIG MISTAKE! And, I think I just learned that the hard way with a bad aching that has me doubled over in pain at times lately...and seeing a Chiropractor 2x/week. Why is that a mistake? Because strength training should be a year-round activity for cyclists not just over the Winter months. When we cycle we really don't develop our back muscles, glutes (and legs) as effectively as we can from strength training. During the Winter months I worked my core at least 2-3x/week, now, I don't at all. Well, that's until now. From now on, I'm going to strengthen the core (back and abs) at least 2x/week with exercises. (email me if you want a list of core strength exercises for cyclists) I'm also going to add some weight training exercises that specifically work the cycling muscles of the legs. If you do the same, just be sure to use a relatively easy/light weight that you can do 3 x 10 reps of. In fact, most of the weight training exercises can be done with dumbbells and a Swiss Ball. And, it doesn't have to take much time either...instead of hourly Winter gym weight training only need to spend a 1/2 hr. in the gym during the summer months...because you're riding. Heck, you REALLY don't even need to go to the I said, you can train with dumbbells and a Swiss ball- in your home.

I seriously think if I had continued my Winter Strength Training Program (including core excercise work) into the Spring/Summer I wouldn't be having the back problems I'm having now. Even if I toned it down some...cutting the workout time in half. I really think the back problems are a result of going too hard lately on the bike..with relatively weak muscles..without adequate rest in-between. So make sure if you're going hard to get your rest too. Your muscles only get stronger during the rest periods.

Get in the gym and keep those muscles strong! NOW!

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